A leading UK homelessness charity has condemned a sharp rise in the number of children housed in temporary accommodation, warning this “must be a wake-up call for local and national government”.
The latest homelessness statistics for Scotland show a 2% increase in assessments, with a total of 14,607 homeless assessments by local authorities between April and September 2017.
The figures also show a 10% increase in the number of children living in temporary housing, when compared to the same period the previous year.
Adam Lang, Head of Communications and Policy at Shelter Scotland, said: “These figures show that on average between April to September 2017 a household in Scotland became homeless every 18 minutes.
“This is just not acceptable in 21st century Scotland”, he said.
Mr Lang continued: “This must be a wake-up call for local and national government that Scotland’s progress on tackling homelessness has stalled and in some places, is getting worse.
“Shelter Scotland has been warning for some time now that the situation is critical and with these figures revealing another increase in homeless children in temporary accommodation (up 10%) we need urgent strategic action to reverse this trend.
“These are not just numbers, they represent thousands of people’s lives suffering the human tragedy of homelessness.
“Among them are 6,581 children without a permanent place to call home, which causes significant and lasting damage to their health, schooling and life chances.
“It is now time for leadership and strategic action on homelessness at a local and national level that makes a real difference on the ground for everyone in Scotland at risk of or suffering homelessness.”
Shelter Scotland are asking people to join their new campaign, which aims to remind the Scottish Government that homelessness in Scotland is #FarFromFixed.